Proclaim the Kingdom Boldly

“If I ever become a saint…I will continually be absent from heaven to light the light of those in darkness on earth” – St. Mother Teresa

(We had a little technical glitch this afternoon. The site was redirecting improperly. Steve BC is constantly quietly refining things here – and every once in a while you get a glitch. I made Steve aware of it and he quickly had it fixed. Sorry if any of you were briefly inconvenienced. What a godsend that man is!-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

Many readers thought they felt a hint of despair in my last piece. There was a certain grief in coming to the conclusion that the culture is lost. It certainly had a good run. I liked the culture I was born into: it had its problems, but was designed in a way that those problems could be resolved without violent strife. It has been a long time since I have seen anything but vestiges of that once robust culture. I am glad that people sensed how weighty and carefully thought out my conclusion was. Quite the opposite of despair, though, the conclusion lifted a cloud that had been hanging for some time. All it means is that instead of restorers, we are called to be missionaries.

My commitment has always been to revive a joyful culture of life, family, and freedom under God. Seeking to repair the existing culture was merely a means to that end. There are other means for all of us. Let’s talk a bit about that.

Start with the certainty that God is good, He intends our good, and we find fulfillment in discerning His will for us and loving our neighbor. Imagine your life as being a great spring that bubbles forth from high atop a mountain. In time, it will make a stream that courses all the way to the bottom of the mountain, where it will form a clear, refreshing pool. Along the way, it will encounter many obstacles and pass through many impurities. Paradoxically, those impurities actually purify it on its way. It will just go around most obstacles. Those that are substantial will cause it to well up for a time, forming a subordinate pool, and then continuing on its way around the great obstacle. Understand that when you unite your will to God’s, it is more relentlessly implacable than gravity – and WILL find its way to form that clear pool at the finish of its course. All the obstacles and impurities along the way just add a little drama to your course as they purify you.

Know also that before time began, from all eternity, God knew every soul He would ever create. He chooses when to deploy each soul so it has the greatest potential effect to draw other souls to Him. Therefore, waste no time in speculating what your life would be had you been born to a different age. God intended you for this age from all eternity – and it is the only age He intended you for. Since God wills the good of His people, every soul He has chosen to live their earthly lives in this age has the potential to carry the heavy load brought on by mass apostasy and faithlessness. YOU were made for these times. Set your jaw like flint, take up the mantle God has laid out for you, and joyfully proclaim His kingdom in what you say and what you do.

I am not a big believer in withdrawal from the world. Rather, we are to be in the world, but not of the world. Jesus makes it clear, when warning of the “leaven of the Pharisees,” that we can be infected by the worldliness of those who put their hope in things. But in Matthew 13:33 He says the “kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.” We are to leaven the world with Godliness while taking care not to be infected with the leaven of worldliness. We can’t leaven the world with Godliness if we withdraw from it, even if it does prevent us from being overcome by that worldliness. We are all called to go forth. Even in this, we must rely on Him rather than our own plan.

At Thanksgiving, my son and my nephew told me they have dialed back on boycotts, simply because one would have to boycott just about everything these days. My nephew said you would have to live in the woods as a hermit to avoid companies that are toxic (then grinned while noting that I had done just that, but not forever.) It is true that even the greatest saints are, to some extent, products of their time, even when they transcend those times. When we swim in befouled waters, we are going to ingest some impurities. I agreed, noting that I pretty much stick to the most egregious cases now and don’t spend a lot of time researching the ugly practices of companies, as it could easily become a full-time job.

The fact is that worldly practices are not bad and counter-productive because they are condemned by God: they are condemned by God because they are bad and counter-productive. The satan has succeeded in seducing the world into believing his venomous lies – that power and things are the source of happiness. The political and philosophical fads that have taken hold of the world will collapse soon enough under the weight of their own internal contradictions. In some ways, it is better for souls that they should prevail for a time. As long as those fantasies are not governing, enthusiasts can continue to delude themselves with their false promises. Put to the test, though, they quickly prove false. This will force believers of these falsehoods to either enter into a pathological state of denial even as the world collapses around them – or consider something new. The prodigals always think they have cleverly found a better way, and always end by eating the husks of corn fed to swine to fend off starvation. It is our duty to give those who repent of their folly example of what brings happiness and to welcome them back into the fold of the Father. To do that, we must care well for our Father’s house and remain visible, if not overly demonstrative. Our peace and our joy, both in prosperity and in trial, will bring many back to God if we live it steadfastly. As a commenter so pithily said here recently, we ARE the ambulances of God.

An example of what our attitude should be when people tell us to hide our Christian faith.

I have long argued that had we been the sort of people who would listen to Our Lady’s warnings at Fatima, there would have been no need for the Fatima apparitions in the first place. Thus, I think Fatima was less a warning to keep us from getting lost at sea than a sort of lighthouse to guide our way back to God after we willfully became lost. That is what we are called to be; lighthouses. It will keep us steady and will be a light in darkness for those who willfully chose the dark when they realize what it is they have chosen. The most important thing, then, is to live the faith well, building each other up and acting as lighthouses to those going further into the darkness. This does not mean that either I or you should ignore the world or its outrages. If the running coup attempt is successful for a time, I will march. But the march will be less to overturn the usurpers and more to hearten the faithful. Any one person, in these terrible times, who chooses the good no matter what the cost, sparks new hope and new resolve in millions. If we seek to be holy as Our Father in heaven is holy and inspire others through our courageous fidelity to do the same, the darkness can only recede from our culture. Those who have become champions of that darkness must recede with it or perish in the light.

I am shifting the tenor of this website a little, to hearten the faithful and to help us all in the missionary work we are now called to. The meatiest new pieces will go up on the weekends by Sunday. On Tuesdays, I will usually put up short takes. On Thursdays I intend, once or twice a month, to put up a biographical account of individual signs of hope – people who are living the faith in simple (or great) ways every day, often without notice, but always with great love. I will introduce you to some of the people who form the TNRS team at this website and across the country, along with Priests, religious, pastors and laymen who are enduring difficult times with great fidelity. On the other days, I will have more guest columns and reprints of notable insights from other sites. The first-person story of the fires in California a month ago, written by Deon Mangan of our Sacramento team, was an amazing, heartening piece of living the next right step under God during a time of extreme peril. I have a piece coming from a woman who was once a pro-abortion feminist, but found God and has joyfully embraced Him. If you have a story that can build others up, send a note to Beckita or me. Now more than ever, I want this community to grow and thrive as a community, that we all may build each other up.

Our job now is to give effective witness of Christ, to boldly proclaim the Kingdom with power, conviction and clarity that sparks new hope and new resolve in all we touch. Let that be your guiding light, your Stella Maris, in this coming year of judgment. We ARE the ambulances.

 

103 thoughts on “Proclaim the Kingdom Boldly

  1. It is difficult for all of us to find love an peace in this darkened world, but I live daily in faith of our Holy God. No matter how ugly the world may seem, my heart is full of love for the Lord and joy in the love God has for those of us who love Him. The darkness only lasts until the next sunrise or sunset when we can see His glory. His love fills us to bursting and nothing in this world can take that way. He promises us joy and peace and we must trust Him and have faith in Him to get us through these dark days. Then, there is Mother!! Our most beautiful Mother who loves us and stands with us. One day, the darkness will lift, either in this world or the next, and we will live in joy for all of eternity with Jesus and our Holy Mother. We are safe, we are loved, we live beyond this world with hope toward the next. We will gladly be here as long as He wants us to be; as long as we can be a light of hope to others. Praise him for allowing us to live in this time and pray for the strength to live more concerned for others than we are for ourselves.

    Charlie, thanks to you and Bekita for your guidance during this time. We are one in His love, now and always. God bless to all of us and keep the faith, always!!! Be not afraid!!

    Liked by 21 people

  2. Beautiful thoughts. Thank you Charlie. And our society is not yet without a conscience, as shown by this clip about folks at Nashville airport spontaneously singing to children of military casualties ( https://www.foxnews.com/travel/nashville-airport-travelers-stop-to-sing-national-anthem-for-children-of-fallen-service-members-viral-video-shows ).

    I was myself born here in 1938, and when I got old enough to wonder, I wondered why I was not born in a concentration camp to die an early death, then why I was born too young to fight in WWII, and Korea. I did serve during the Vietnam war era, Marine Corps enlisted, and Army Officer, but in a high tech lab (developer of our Starlight scope and night vision goggles). Got bored in the lab in Ft Belvoir, and called the mythic little old lady managing Army officer assignments, and she said that I could of course get reassigned to a unit in Vietnam, but I would have to re-up to extend my two-year commitment by another two years– told her that I was bored, not crazy.

    A few years ago, I also came to reflect that there had been multiple instances in which I ought to have been killed in “accidents,” one being the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon where I had been working. I recently came to the conclusion that when and where I was born, and why I am still kicking is no random matter. Just as Charlie wrote here, we each were given the opportunity to play a role in destiny by God, and have a duty to perform the best we can with grace in love for each other.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Thanks for this sign of hope video, Jack. I, for one, am happy you were born and, then, preserved to live in these days and that you found your way to this community so we can travel this leg of the Journey together!

      Liked by 6 people

  3. Cindy,
    YOU are a lighthouse! My goodness you have brightened my outlook considerably. God bless you!🙏🏼✝️

    Charlie, how do I get a hold of you or Beckita? Here in our little town of Silverton, we have formed the Silverton Soup Ladies. The shining star of this group makes meals continuously and rallies the troops to cook and deliver. She is currently sponsoring a family from Pariadise and providing food and other necessities. She has us, my husband and I, making applesauce this week for the freezer until she needs it for the sick or the babies. We also provide food for our homeless (we have about a dozen individuals). We are a small community, but she extends her largesse to the outlying needy. She is a shining star. 🌟

    Thank-you for this rallying piece. We will endeavor to be the sign of hope we are called to be.

    Ongoing prayers for all.
    God bless us all,
    katey in OR

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Well, Jaykay, I do not say you should not work to repair the culture. I say that that is no longer my primary focus, for I think it is lost. Even so, I will fight more than a few rear-guard actions in the process. The culture is the collective animating assumptions of its people and their mediating institutions. In a Christian culture, it is assumed that fidelity to faith is good and proper – whether one actually lives it or not. That becomes reflected in the schools, media, arts, and its political institutions. That is who we used to be. In the current culture, Christianity, itself, is considered an actual evil of which the only mitigating factor is that those who actually believe it are seen as rubes who don’t know any better. That attitude is reflected in our schools, media, arts and political institutions.

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      1. I understand each of us striving to become the face of God for others. I understand each of us proclaiming the kingdom boldly for others. I don’t understand how we build a whole new, seperate culture without improving the current corrupt culture. For me, that brings to mind the Amish who live in their own communities outside the culture. They still interact with non-amish at their jobs or in commerce, but make no major impact on the larger culture. I don’t think that is what is being advocated.

        Please don’t misunderstand. This is a sincere lack of understanding on my part. I’m not trying to be argumentative.

        I understand the principle of not putting new wine in old wine skins. I just don’t know how to put it into practice when we are talking about the culture.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. Agree with your thoughts, jayman, that we are not being asked to live an Amish-style existence, yet, I surely respect their ways. I think more along the lines of Archbishop Chaput’s thinking in his excellent treatment of witnessing to Christ as described in some of his writing, such as: Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life and Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics and Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World.

          The evil aspects of our culture *must* crumble as we continue to pray that ugliness, such as the lies which represent transgender options and abortion rights as good (among others), are extinguished. The arts are a gift to promote beauty and I recently quoted Pope Emeritus Benedict as noting that beauty is a means to bring about conversion. With this thought in mind, there will surely be elements of culture which will be flushed of sin and reinvigorated with beauty, grace and truth. I imagine a flourishing of the arts in the New Beginning. A kind of renaissance – one in which both retro and contemporary styles are imprinted in the works – where Christian truths are represented, proclaimed and exclaimed, again, in visual arts, musical compositions, movie-making, poetry, novels and all manner of writing. I imagine every public institution – however God leads us as we co-create with Him – would be developed in a way wherein people uphold God’s Laws as the foundation for human laws.

          I imagine, for the most part, the current abuse of technology wherein evils such as pornography have been promoted will be gone, replaced by using technology and all God’s gifts in a way that is marked by holy order.

          This is but a wee consideration of the true happiness in what lies before us. I am convinced that the writings of Popes St. Paul VI and John Paul II, wherein they promote the building of a Civilization of Love, will blossom and flourish. Once this effusion of purifying grace has passed over and through each one of us, I do believe we’ll be able to see more clearly that to which the Lord is inviting us. See, in Lake’s wonderful car analogy yesterday, the image of replacing the old, broken down vehicle with a new one awaiting purchase was given. That new car was there in one piece. We, on the other hand, have yet to discover what is to be in a culture made new. I cannot help but leap for joy at the thought of where God’s Infinite Imagination will lead us!

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        2. I understand, Jayman…it is not a “bumper sticker” type way forward. As I noted in either this piece or the last, I am not a separatist type of guy who pushes withdrawal from the world. I continue to do some quiet, but substantial, pro-life work – and will continue and even augment it if I can. But how to live that well, neither withdrawing from society nor being overwhelmed by the culture are subjects that will be emphasized as we go forward. It is not the first time we have dealt with difficult subjects that required a nuanced mind. Think of the difference between how our community thinks of “preparation” as opposed to how it thought of it just three years ago. A lot of what I endeavor to do is to change the paradigm of how we think of things. This is a big one, but it is what we need going forward. We don’t quit trying to right a troubled ship or help the people aboard with us – but neither do we tie ourselves to its mast as it goes down.

          Liked by 9 people

          1. Oh No! “A new paradigm,” says Cardinal Cupich. Just kidding, Charlie, but I admit it gigglingly leapt into my head. Seriously, the consideration of whatever the new paradigm may consist of or lead us to is such a hope-filled way forward for us, an offshoot of the Tree of Life, heavy with new fruit now blossoming and, in time, will develop with prayer, contemplation and deeds.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. I was saying it and using that technique long before Cdl. Cupich could even spell it. Let him take his paradigm against traditional Catholic faith, I’ll take mine that believes in traditional Catholic faith and we’ll see whose is the stronger. (One of the strengths of my paradigm is that it encourages giggling rather than punishes it 😉

              Liked by 9 people

            1. I think I get what you are asking Jayman, about how do we build a new culture without trying to improve the Christian one we had.

              This has been eating at me for sometime as I always assumed that the Triumph would probably be ushered in by some dramatic fireworks and fanfare miracle that would result in a mass world conversion. The problem with that is that within a generation or two, our culture would revert back to decline and disobediance. This has been the typical scenerio for Christianity (examples: the seven first churches now all part of Muslim Turkey, Europe, Canada, the US, etc) The only thing that seems to slow the cycle towards decline is when the Christian culture is persecuted or has to undergo hardships, then it seems to thrive longer. Now I always imagined the Triumph as something durable (like thousand years durable). While what we call Western Christian culture as a whole has endured since Constantine, no one country or culture (American culture, French culture, Irish culture, European culture, etc.) has been able to have it endure more than a some hundred years at a time (where Christianity was as strong after a 1000 years as it was early on).
              So this brings me back to, what kind of Christian culture could last 1000 years? What does our Christian culture lack now that we are often not able to pass it even to 1 generation, let alone a thousand.
              This leads me to agree with Charlie that these are very difficult subjects,and it’s not about fixing or trying to bring back the culture we were born into. Truth is I am not sure about alot of things, and it seems like the only clear things in my head are what we shouldn’t be doing in a Christian culture.

              There that’s my 2 cents. So to conclude, I am struggling too Jayman, …what was the question?

              Liked by 7 people

      2. Ummm… Me jaykay, Charlie. Him Jayman. Yep, Homer nods 😋

        But seriously, when you said in the post about our lost brethren believing “that power and things are the source of happiness.”, it brought home to me something I’ve seen often written, which is that for leftists (and I use that term very broadly) “it’s all about power”. Temporal power, to bring about their great new dawn – latest version, improved model. And when the New Dawn turns into the usual reeking cesspool of oppression and barbarism they move on. Sorry, Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe… (name the basket-case of choice)- it’ll work next time round.

        Will they ever come to sense? Possibly, but amid the ruin they’ve brought on, like Germany in 1945. Pray God that when that happens we should be the lighthouses.

        Which brings me to what you said: “every soul He has chosen to live their earthly lives in this age has the potential to carry the heavy load brought on by mass apostasy and faithlessness.”

        If we survive, it’ll be one heck of a burden. We’ll then really become the field hospital the Holy Father referred to, among the wreckage of a civilisation. There can be no triumphalistic, hah-told-you-so response. I doubt we’d even have the capacity for that. I hope we wouldn’t anyway, it would be a betrayal of all we’re supposed to stand for. Easy to post like this when we’re still seemingly in the midst of plenty, of course, albeit a false plenty. When the real test comes may we not be found without oil in the lamp.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Sorry about that, Jaykay. I heard it was a double-bing day, two souls released from purgatory for the price of one. I figured you wouldn’t mind. (Okay, if pressed, I must concede I just screwed up…but hopefully it really was double-bing day.)

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  4. Amen to that Charlie…

    A talk show that overhead lately complained that approximately 2/3 of Canada was “Christian”, and that other belief systems had to be incorporated into society. Two-thirds? What kind of Christians are those that created the current stagnant society? That’s a hell of a excuse to dim the light of truth in this dark world.

    Society has been intentionally dumb down with contaminates in the food & water, and the lower education standards…

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Thank you for putting into words the thoughts and feelings of many regarding the sad state of our culture Charlie. I have been wondering for months if this country will be saved or lost (after having been thankful for months that Trump came along to save it for us). As I have seen the relentless onslaught of the individuals serving anything other than Truth and Love (and the minions who choose to follow and support them), I also arrived at the conclusion you shared in your previous post. They will not stop with their lies. They will march on like an army of ants. I was not surprised when I read your words, but – as usual – heartened. We who believe are heartened by each other, but even that is useless if we do not know, love and serve God. God bless and love you.

    Liked by 8 people

  6. Today’s readings in the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) are poignant and I recommend devoting a part of your day to its insight.

    Psalm 37. (I believe we are living Psalm 37) Shown below is a brief selection. The full Psalm and todays reading are awe inspiring.

    *******

    Catholic Study Bible

    Psalms 37:1-3

    1 A Psalm of David. Fret not yourself because of the wicked, be not envious of wrongdoers!

    2 For they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.

    3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.

    Psalms 37:5-7

    5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

    6 He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday.

    7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

    Psalms 37:27-28

    27 Depart from evil, and do good; so shall you abide for ever.

    28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. The righteous shall be preserved for ever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

    Psalms 37:34

    34 Wait for the LORD, and keep to his way, and he will exalt you to possess the land; you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

    Psalms 37:40

    40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

    Liked by 11 people

          1. Correct. The Angelus. I was thinking more along the meaning and culture in Medjugorje. Prayer, Work, social, leisure all merged into one.

            Early morning prayers, mass, work, prayer, work, adoration, work, social, dinner, reconciliation, international (evening) mass, prayer, adoration, sleep. Repeat.

            Liked by 8 people

    1. Wow! I came to the SAME conclusion about that when I was reading it this morning and for some time afterwords. God is so good to us…and He really helps us to trust in Him more and more, The Holy Spirit really moves our hearts while praying the Liturgy of the Hours…..really!

      Psalm 37

      Liked by 3 people

  7. “If I ever become a saint…I will continually be absent from heaven to light the light of those in darkness on earth” – St. Mother Teresa

    Love this promise from St. Mother Teresa, Charlie. THIS, from a woman who lived years and years – like 50 of ’em! – of loving and serving while walking in her own dark night. A-mazing!

    Dear Mother Teresa, do add brighter light to our ambulance-selves by staying with us to intercede.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I finally found Our Lady’s message concerning our being ambulances. May 2, 2016, “Therefore, I invite you, my children, to observe well the signs of the times – to ‘gather the shattered crosses’ and to be apostles of the revelation.” Pray for her intentions and she will use our prayers for the most good. Onward Christian soldiers!

      Liked by 10 people

    1. Beautiful, Nancy. We surely are ambulances, light houses, whatever image of the Lord inspires and fires us to remain faithful and work tirelessly to bring God’s Kingdom to earth in these days in new and life-giving ways. This image brings to mind a contemporary hymn which speaks to God’s Presence with us throughout the ages, as well as, to what we can be for others. Verse 3 especially speaks to me. May we never tire of BEing Christ’s Hope and Refuge for all we meet along the particular Path marked out for each of us.

      Verse 1
      Long before the mountains came to be
      and the land and sea and stars of the night,
      through the endless seasons of all time,
      you have always been,
      you will always be.

      Refrain

      In ev’ry age, O God, you have been our refuge.
      In ev’ry age, O God, you have been our hope.

      Verse 2
      Destiny is cast, and at your silent word
      we return to dust and scatter to the wind.
      A thousand years are like a single moment gone,
      as the light that fades
      at the end of day.

      Refrain

      Verse 3
      Teach us to make use of the time we have.
      Teach us to be patient even as we wait.
      Teach us to embrace our ev’ry joy and pain.
      To sleep peacefully,
      and to rise up strong.

      Refrain

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Luz de Maria website has posted an interesting article on Our Lady of Guadalupe:

    https://www.revelacionesmarianas.com/english.htm

    Contained within is a note the image of our Lady at Tepeyac holds more things to meet the eye, notably very visible to one and all. The site then displays a link to the ‘Angel of Peace’. Could this Angel of Peace be the same Angel holding up Mother Mary’s mantel at the bottom of St. Juan Diego’s Tilma?

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Charlie: I read a good book, “Priest,” by Michael S. Rose. The copyright date is 2003. It is the expose’s of 10 righteous priests who tried to light candles in the darkness. It was encouraging.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Mary, Priest is the counterpart to Michael Rose’s 2002 expose, Goodbye, Good Men about the homoclerical crisis in our seminaries. I look forward to reading Priest again.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow! Thank you Charlie, what a wonderful difference between posts: A sign of Our Lord’s Presence and Proclaim the Kingdom Boldly! From the night of mourning to a new day of rejoicing! I was really in the dumps yesterday when I lost contact with ASOH, WordPress rejected my every password that I tried to enter and even theirs which is a very long list of characters and numbers. However, I won’t say how i got it back this morning, very happy indeed. I tell you it was real grief to suffer the loss of this blog which means more to me than all others which I can do with or without. God bless you Charlie and all the wonderful Brothers and Sisters on ASOH!

    Liked by 8 people

      1. Dear Beckita, Thank you so very much, After yesterday’s grief your words are a consolation which lift me up to rejoicing and praising Our Merciful Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother Mary!.

        Liked by 5 people

  11. With the darkness or Mordor swirling about us this is one of the most hopeful pieces I have read in awhile. I don’t want to abandon the culture either but to be asked to be a sign of hope in these times, among the darkness is a hopeful call. Like Gideon’s army or like the 7000 in Kings who did not bend the knee to Baal, so are we called to be.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Constantine the first Christian Emperor of Rome brought Christianity to forefront of society, whether anyone (even Trump) can succeed in mainstreaming Christianity again is unknown.

    What role will/can/should we play if there’s total societal collapse?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I have to admit that I am a sucker for all the Alaska shows on tv. And all the police shows. And all the ghost hunting shows. I really miss Finding Bigfoot.

    So I’m watching one of the ghost shows the other day and the story line is a medium and a retired NYPD detective are called into a home where the family is having a terrible time with ghostly beings. The central victim who draws most malevolent attention is a grandmother with 7 children and lots of grandchildren. The spirit activity is so bad in the house …. noises, apparitions, shadow people, scary spooky stuff of all sorts … that all seven of this woman’s children have left the house and won’t return. She never gets to see her grandkids because their parents think the place is too dangerous. It is destroying the poor grandma. Physical deterioration. Anger. Mood swings. Personality change. Sadness. Despair. Hopelessness. Gloom. Gloom and darkness pervades her home and her outlook.

    So the medium goes through the house and runs into all the ghosts and evil spirits. Then sits down with the Grandma and tells her this: “You are confronting an evil spirit who studies the person it wants to attack and separates that person from the thing or things that are most important to them. To break them down and cause despair and depression.” Grandma replies that “My family is everything to me. I really miss them.” Of, course she has lost her family. Her family has been taken away from her. Leaving her in a devastated, despairing, gloomy, depressed condition. In the Darkness so to speak.

    Bingo! That is a demonic attack in a nutshell.

    So what is most important to you? What motivates you to get up out of bed in the morning? Well, whatever it is, that is where the demonic spirits assigned to ruin you are going to focus their attack. Family. Children. Grandchildren. Money. Job. Status. Vocation. Whatever. That’s where the attack is going to come at you. If you don’t know that the attack is a deliberate and intentional Demonic MO that works well for Satan and not just random bad luck you will become seriously disoriented pretty quickly. It can lead to severe dysfunction. Maybe even anger at God. Why me? How can there be a God who lets such bad things happen to such good people? So, you better be brutally honest with yourself about what it is that is REALLY the most important thing in your life and not kid yourself about it.

    Grandma’s most important thing was “Family”. She lost it. Result: gloomy darkness and despair. Chock one up for one of Satan’s minions.

    Now extend this Demonic MO out to the culture at large. What is most important to traditional Americans? What are our highest ideals? Think about that for a few minutes and you can start a list. Here’s a few I can think of off the top of my head: Family. Security. Health. Job. Income. Education. Independence. House. Status. If the Demonic Attack MO is applied to these things that are most important to us in a cultural way of life sense then we can expect all of these things to come under attack. We are losing these things and experiencing the Grandma Effect of gloomy darkness and despair as a result.

    We see all of these things under attack in real time.

    If the object is to throw the culture into Grandma’s situation —– Physical deterioration. Anger. Mood swings. Personality change. Sadness. Despair. Hopelessness. Gloom. Gloom and darkness. —
    then the demonic attack that is directed at the people of the United States seems to be very effective. We can see it and feel it. We are all effected by this present and ongoing attack on us. Nobody is immune from those effects.

    As Charlie might put it …. the culture is lost. We have been separated from it. We are feeling the same effects taking Grandma down.

    What’s important about all this? There is only one thing none of us can ever be separated from. We all know what that is. If we make that the most important thing in our lives then we have a strong defense against the demonic attack that is the fate of every Christian. If we make that the most important thing then we can retain Joy and Peace and well being even in the face of losing everything else.

    Must be very frustrating to Satan.

    Try to describe what you think of as Hell on Earth. Sadness. Gloom. Darkness. A feeling of isolation. Loneliness. Depression. Deep depression. Despair. Deep despair. No joy. No peace. No sense of well being. Hell on Earth.

    Galilee of the Gentiles. A lost culture. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” Yup. And they have an MO that is working pretty good for them at the moment.

    If we are to be ambulances in this present lost culture, and a lighthouse, then “living it” becomes the most important thing your average Christian can do.

    Decades ago when I was in a very bad patch in my own life I was literally stumbling down the street one Sunday morning and passed a Catholic Church with an open door just at Mass time. I had been away from the church for 10 years. Don’t know what made me do it but I stopped and just decided to go on in. I sat down in a back pew. What struck me was looking at all the smiling people in that Church. After Mass they were milling around with smiles and obvious joy and peace. I asked myself what do these people have that I don’t have. That was the beginning of my journey back to the Church.

    What those people were was a light in the darkness. And that light drew me in. And they didn’t even know it. They just “lived it”.

    The feeling for me was like the wolf in the darkness coming on the campfire of humans. Looking in from the dark and the cold. The light draws the wolf in closer and closer inch by inch. Until he walks into the circle of light. That was me.

    This is what we are called to do — to “Live it” — for all the cold, lonely, hungry wolves in our culture in America today. To invite them to come into the circle of light. So they too may participate in the joy and peace and well being of Christian culture and fellowship. All we have to do is “live it” and it will happen even if we don’t know it.

    I was reading about the story behind the St Michael prayer the other day. Pope Leo XIII overheard a conversation between Jesus and Satan in a chapel in the Vatican. Satan said “I can destroy your Church.” Jesus responded “Go ahead and do it.” Satan said “I need more time and more power.” Jesus said “How much time and how much power?” Satan said “About 100 years and greater control over those who I have recruited.” Jesus responded “You have the time and you have the power.”

    Shaken, Pope Leo went to his study immediately and composed the St Michael Prayer.

    Of course what Jesus knows with certainty is that not Satan or anybody else can separate man from the love of God. Makes man a very tough nut for Satan to crack. If that love of God is the most important thing to us. It limits Satan’s arsenal. It was a sucker’s bet. The light will ALWAYS shine in the darkness. His body the Church will ALWAYS shine in the darkness. And serve as a lighthouse and an ambulance for the lonely and the hungry and the despairing. All those wolves out there in the darkness will ask the question: What do they have that I don’t have. They will be irresistibly drawn to the light.

    The people living in Darkness will see a Great Light. It has to be us.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. I love your image of the wolf coming into the light/warmth from the darkness. He was drawn to something “different”, something better, more inviting than the coldness he was living in. That speaks so well to our culture. They are living in the cold, in darkness away from God, searching for something different but not knowing what they are searching for…. unhappy, but not really knowing they are unhappy. BUT who can resist joy, laughter and peace when you are living in misery, if they are given a loving opportunity? Would they come to the campfire if they saw us AND we welcomed them with open arms?

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I came across a light shining in Detroit courtesy of Bishop Vigernon: Unleash the Gospel.
      http://www.aod.org/being-catholic/evangelization/unleash-the-gospel/
      At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit sent the Church to evangelize the world. And now I feel as though the Holy Spirit is sending the Church again to a world that has again rejected the Father and needs to experience the Prodigal Father.
      We have to be the light to bring them home to the Father.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Wanna get the culture back? Pray. Go to daily mass. Pray the Divine office otherwise known as the Prayer of the Church, Liturgy of the hours.

    The Liturgy of the Hours commences with first sunlight thru to sundown, every three hours. It is based on the Apostles praying all day. I would do a disservice to try to describe the meaning, as the Hours does exactly that in the beginning of the book. Historical to our modern age.

    Morning prayer commences your day in thanksgiving and praise of God.
    Evening prayer closes the day, reflecting on the day in thanksgiving and praising God.

    Daytime prayers in between and may be said hourly. In this way, we consecrated our day to God.

    This is what gets US(A) back.

    For those of us who already pray the Hours, at the specific hour, openly pray in public and invite others to join you. Six times per day, plus three for the Angelus.

    Pray the rosary while you are commuting to work (train, car, walking). Offer the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for those you see around you, particulary those who verbally confront you. I offered my prayers for all those who aggressively shouted epiletes at me standing f/o an abortion clinic.

    Our culture is in turmoil and only thorough us clawing our way back to God, inch by inch will we become the people we think we are.

    Tomorrow is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac. Pray for Her intersession for Unity of the America’s aka the New World.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I know how you feel, but don’t loose hope if everything crumbles apart, we are at the twilight before the dawn of “the kingdom of God” Daniel 2:44-45, but the kingdom(s) of men & the devil has to be destroyed first.

      Keep praying, the dragon, the source of all misery & evil will get his head crushed eventually…

      Liked by 5 people

    2. History shows us that once the people loose enough of their faith in God He intercedes either by conversion, rescue or distruction.
      So what will it be this time?
      Fatima suggest wars and persecution and for some, annihilation (which has already happened in some countries).
      Akita and Fatima suggest the world being destroyed by fire or a flaming sword.
      Many newer prophets call for a purification, a “chastisment”, a “Warning” and a “Miracle which were also contained in the Fatima event.
      So, here we are….waiting.
      Waiting for what?
      Charlie’s call for us to live the “Next Right Step” is, like most prophecies, just a continuation of Scripture’s call to “repent and believe in the gospel.”(Mark 1:15). This is key. Follow the path laid out for us since time memorial.
      The difficulty is this :
      We are unprofitable.
      “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”(Luke 17:10).
      It is necessary to remember that we deserve what is comming to us. It is Jesus who amends our punishment for we belong to Him and He accomplishes this for His own glory.
      “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.”
      (Isaiah 48:11).
      So we are clothed in glory by Jesus for Jesus because, by His very nature, which is love, He cannot but love us and accomplish His will in us despite our being incapable and unworthy!
      But we have to do our duty, unprofitable as it is.
      And so, by His grace, the Next Right Step was born, in all of its manifestations throughout history, and again lands squarely in front of us today through this duty bound unprofitable servant named Charlie Johnston.
      Thanks for reminding us…again!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, sometimes the only way out the fire or lion’s pit is through it. I get the impression that society is too far gone to backtrack.

        Revelations 22:10-15 has this to say:

        10And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”
        12″Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
        14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

        It’s curious that Revelations says to let evildoers continue todo evil, but it is there just like Matt 10:34-36 …

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Ann Barnhardt posted an article on Bishop Gracida’s blog. I don’t care for negativity toward Pope Francis, namely addressing him using his former name. I digress.

    Her article is a rant in action. One of which I have observed noticeably for the past several years. It deals with accusers railing on someone for actions they themselves do. Specifically, I have noticed this in Democrat politics and wonder if this is related to their vote against God (noted ealier in a different thread).

    Her terminology: Diabolical Narcissists

    https://abyssum.org/2018/12/11/ann-analyzes-the-practice-of-projection-in-the-cases-of-diabolical-narcissists/

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I LOVE vigils so, please, begin this celebration of tomorrow’s feast day by ending this evening with a peace-filled sleep. After all, did Our Lady not say to Juan Diego, as surely as she speaks these very words to each of us this eve?

    “Listen and let it penetrate your heart…do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Special shout out of gratitude for the revelation to Charlie that you, Blessed Mother, wish to be known as Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Conversion, in these days. Please gather our children, grandchildren and other family members who may now be far from your Son and pour forth graces upon each one of them, Oh Mediatrix, that a relationship with Jesus would become irresistible to each one Thank you for answering our prayer. Amen.

      Liked by 11 people

  17. I stopped my reading and passed through all the posts to say……just pick one or two companies that reject life where you live and boycott them. I do not give Starbucks nor Target my support. Don’t give up on boycotting. And wherever you find companies that support Life, give them you business.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Echo that SanSan. Furthermore, may Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn, spur us all to TNRS and call the White House (between 9-4 E.), to ask the President to keep his campaign promise to defund PP.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. Latest message from Luz de Maria. This message originated in Spanish, translated to English via google translate. Specific request to:

    “Pray, My children, pray for your brothers in Venezuela and Nicaragua, in the face of so much pain, request the intercession of My Mother with a chain of prayer on December 12, beginning at 3 in the afternoon of each country with the Holy Rosary.”

    {BREAK}

    MESSAGE FROM OUR LORD JESUS ​​CHRIST
    TO HIS BELOVED DAUGHTER LUZ DE MARÍA
    DECEMBER 11, 2018

    My Beloved People:

    I AM PEACE, THE TRUTH, I AM WORD AND SILENCE AT THE SAME TIME …

    My Town is not a muted town, but a people that preaches, not only with the word, but with something else that is extremely important, since this can not be improvised, each human creature brings it with him inside: THE TESTIMONY.

    MY CHILDREN, SHOULD LIVE AS IF THEY WERE IN WHERE NOBODY LOOKS AT, ACT AND WORK WITHIN THE TRUTH, AS THEY ARE, WHERE NOBODY LOOKS AT, SO THAT THEY ARE TRUE.

    The man, in a great majority, does not show himself as he really is, since in this moment the selfish interests prevail, for that reason both failure and so much disbelief.

    BELOVED PEOPLE OF MINE, THEY HAVE THE FREE WILL THAT THEY USE TO CHALLENGE ME AND I CALL THEM FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO BE AMENDED AND SAVE THE SOUL.

    You ignore great mysteries that you share with the rest of Creation. Man and Creation share the leaving of the Divine Hand and what happens in the Creation affects the man and the actions of man impact on the Creation, that symbiosis existing between all the created.

    Humanity, forgetting this principle, has taken what has been created and has arranged it for its well-being, thus altering all that ecosystem of Divine Love that achieves harmony between the universes and man keep the Divine Concordance.

    The Creation keeps a harmony, the man has come to discover it, so much that they have found that the Creation radiates music, yes music, that is emanated by what is born of the Hand of My Father.

    YOU CHILDREN, ARE CONTAINERS WHERE YOU ARE ACCUMULATING LOVE OR HATE, HUMILITY OR HUMILITY, GREED OR GENEROSITY, LUST OR CHASTITY, IRA OR PATIENCE, GULA OR TEMPERANCE, ENVY OR CHARITY, LAZINESS OR DILIGENCE …

    WHAT THE RECIPIENT IS FILLED WITH THIS ARE THEIR FRUITS, OF WHAT THE CONTAINER CONTAINS, SO IT ATTRACTS MORE TOWARD HIM.

    Keep in mind that “the sun shines for all, just and unjust” (cf. Mt 5,45); thus My Mother, I gave her for all men and She carries all of them within Her Immaculate Heart.

    MY PEOPLE, ACT IN CONFUSION, THUS IT IS DIFFICULT TO CONFRONT LIFE AND THEREFORE THE CREATION REBELLS AGAINST THE MAN WHO IS DISORDER IN DISORDER.

    The man who loves me or decides to love me, knows that he must not give free rein to the dismal reactions of human egoism and prevents in himself reactions out of control, those that in an instant cause great and serious irreparable chaos in most of the occasions . Just as man has abused the Earth and devastated it, so man abuses himself and his brothers, overthrowing Love, fraternity, friendship, and respect; and thus the chaos enters and causes havoc, sometimes irreparable. Similarly, globally, wars are born of the disordered desire of nations, the pride of evil has taken man to desire to dominate all of humanity and this will lead this generation to live the worst.

    My People have to stay even, they must protect themselves as brothers of the same Father. Do not give free rein to the mind, but hold it so that it does not destroy, but build. DO NOT FEAR ONLY WHEN THE FACTS HAPPEN TO WHOM YOU FEAR THEM, KEEP A LOVING FEAR TO NOT OFFEND ME.

    Pray, My children, pray for your brothers in Venezuela and Nicaragua, in the face of so much pain, request the intercession of My Mother with a chain of prayer on December 12, beginning at 3 in the afternoon of each country with the Holy Rosary.

    My people, stay tuned, roar volcanoes, Etna (Italy) and Mount Pelée (Martinique, Antilles). Pray right now for those children of Mine who will suffer.

    MY PEOPLE, CELEBRATE THE WOMAN DRESSED IN SUN, WITH THE MOON UNDER HER FEET (Cf. Apoc 12,1), THE WOMAN WHO REMAINS ON TAPE AND SEEKS THE HUMBLE AND SIMPLE TO REVEAL HER. THIS IS MY MOTHER, USE WHAT THE WORLD DESPISES TO SEE THE WORK OF MY HOUSE.

    In this relationship of man with Creation is that this invocation of My Mother tells the man of this generation, which has so much scientific advance, MARVEL THE WORK THAT DIVINE DECREE WITHIN ME …!

    MY PEOPLE, STILL MISSED TO DEVELOP WHAT FOR DIVINE WILL WILL REMAIN IN MY MOTHER’S AYATE and has not been found, but it will not be the man who will reveal it, but My House will reveal it to man.

    My beloved, pray so that fidelity does not decline, but so that faith in My People increases and each of you is a voice of encouragement for your brothers, for those who walk aimlessly allowing the worldly to turn them aside.

    MARVEL YOURSELF, MY CHILDREN! THEY HAVE A MOTHER WHO LOVES ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN. THEREFORE YOU ENTER INTO CONNECTIONS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS MYSTERY OF LOVE THAT COVERS ALL MEN.

    I LOOK AT THEM AS IF IT WAS THE FIRST TIME, FOR MORE SINNERS THAT ARE, IF THEY ARRIVE BEFORE ME REPENT. COME ON

    N MY CHILDREN, COME TO ME.

    IT IS NOT INSTANT OF MAMMALS, BUT TO GET UP AND DECIDE TO BE TRUE CHILDREN, CHILDREN WHO WISH THAT THEIR BROTHERS PARTICIPATE IN KNOWING AND BEING MY MOTHER’S CHILDREN.

    I bless you I love them.

    His Jesus

    AVE MARÍA PURÍSIMA, SIN SIN CONCEBIDA
    AVE MARÍA PURÍSIMA, SIN SIN CONCEBIDA
    AVE MARÍA PURÍSIMA, SIN SIN CONCEBIDA

    COMMENTARY OF LIGHT OF MARY

    Brothers:

    Remembering these Words of Our Mother:

    “Juanito, the youngest of My children, where are you going?” When turning around Juan Diego saw a very beautiful Lady.

    The Lady told him:

    “I am the always Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of the true God, I have come here to tell you that I want a temple to be built here, to show and give my love and help to all of you.”

    With that Maternal Love, Our Lady addresses Her children, all without distinction and it is that Love that today continues to call us to conversion.

    For this reason Our Lord calls us again and again to be different, to be spiritual and that, at this moment, Humanity lives in a confusion and omits spirituality in its life because the mundane and the sinful satisfy the values ​​that are very far from those that the son of God must possess.

    How much our Lord preaches to us about the influence that our works and acts have with respect to Creation !, and it is something that we can not deny, since man is in discord with the Creation that fulfills the function for which he has been created and from which the man went away and has taken a very different course.

    Let us pray preaching to ourselves and to the brothers: that God exists, that he is the Alpha and the Omega, who is above all things.

    In union with the Paternal House, let us unite and with Our Mother, let us adore the Sacrosanct Trinity that sent us to the Mother who loves us, to the Full of Grace.

    Amen.

    DECEMBER 12TH
    FESTIVAL OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE GUADALUPE
    THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE
    REVELATIONS GIVEN TO MARY’S LIGHT

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “My Town is not a muted town, but a people that preaches, not only with the word, but with something else that is extremely important, since this can not be improvised, each human creature brings it with him inside: THE TESTIMONY.

      MY CHILDREN, SHOULD LIVE AS IF THEY WERE IN WHERE NOBODY LOOKS AT, ACT AND WORK WITHIN THE TRUTH, AS THEY ARE, WHERE NOBODY LOOKS AT, SO THAT THEY ARE TRUE.

      The man, in a great majority, does not show himself as he really is, since in this moment the selfish interests prevail, for that reason both failure and so much disbelief.”

      {BREAK}

      This quote selection caught my attention. For me, it translates to: ‘be like little children’ taking in each moment anew, develop friendships on the fly thru love and honesty.

      No allegiance to Political correctness, family relations, ethnic, cultural, political etc. Live and take each moment anew without perceived notions of another.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Read this during Adoration this morning and it is just another example of being forewarned about what our culture is going through…. love Archbishop Sheen’s wisdom and simple way of stating it… wish we had him on TV today!

    “A democracy is a government based on personal responsibility. We must never interpret emancipation as an evasion of responsibility or think that a responsibility is a hindrance to freedom; rather it is its safeguard. We have formed, and we must continue to form, associations to safeguard freedom, but let us also persuade Americans to form associations which will safeguard our responsibilities. The bane of democracy is the flight from responsibility on which freedom rests. If America is to continue to be great along the tradition of her Founding Fathers and not betray the Christian traditions, her citizens must release, not their evil inclinations from within, but rather the aspiration for total goodness that God put in their hearts.” -Excerpt From Life Is Worth Living

    God bless everyone!
    Bill

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Some articles that may be of interest? …… and Many Thanks to Steve and The Gang that keeps The Site in Operation. The Good News in the below is that Good Guys are still Out-There though The Usual Suspects are doing their best to suppress them/US!

    Knights of Columbus Applaud Genocide Relief Law Signed by Trump
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/knights-columbus-applaud-genocide-relief-bill-signed-trump

    ‘Men Have Forgotten God’: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1983 Templeton Address
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/aleksandr-solzhenitsyn-men-have-forgotten-god-speech/

    Justice Thomas Takes Colleagues to Task for Refusal to Hear Planned Parenthood Case
    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/elizabeth-slattery/justice-thomas-takes-scotus-colleagues-task-refusal-hear-planned

    Democrats Introduce Bill Requiring U.S. to Call Abortion a “Human Right”
    https://www.lifenews.com/2018/12/11/democrats-introduce-bill-requiring-u-s-to-call-abortion-a-human-right/

    I’d say the Pope is correct about the below. Even as a kid I thought that the phrase “Lead us not into temptation….” didn’t “sound right”:

    Pope Francis poised to redo translation of Lord’s Prayer
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/11/pope-francis-redo-lords-prayer-translation/

    How long before SF insists that normal people be placed in guarded ghettos?

    San Francisco Creates World’s First Ever Transgender Cultural District
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/san-francisco-creates-worlds-first-ever-transgender-cultural-district

    I’ve decided that Google is an enemy of me/mine and in the new year I’m figuring out ways to rid it from my life!

    Google Approves App For Muslims To Report People Who Commit Blasphemy
    https://bigleaguepolitics.com/google-approves-app-for-muslims-to-report-people-who-commit-blasphemy/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I don’t have time to read all the comments to see if anyone else has said this, or something similar, but, I gotta say this for anyone else out there who may be similar, and called to something different. Not trying to argue here, or anything, I just want to say this so those who are called to a different way don’t feel bad for doing what God calls them to, or that their calling is any less in the roster of God’s people, His Church Militant. 🙂

    God has many, many who do His work, and not all are called to be public in their work. Some are called to work quietly and silently through prayer, penance, etc. for the good of souls. Think of the cloistered nun. I would hope none among us would deny the value of their work. If so, we need to contemplate more on the awesome mystery of the great work that can be done in the supernatural through the Communion of Saints. God’s power can be worked in many ways, and those who live a life removed from the world can have just as much power(even more in some ways, as we know the power of things spiritual) as one who goes out boldly proclaiming the Truth. Look at St. Therese, who is a patron Saint of missionaries, even though she never left the cloister to do missionary work. You have 2 Saints named Theresa/Therese and they each are amazing Saints in the Church and have touched millions of souls, even though one lived a simple life of prayer and work for God within the walls of a cloister, and one went out to all the world to show how to love, and to serve the poor.

    As you said, Charlie, God created each of us to live at this very time. He also created us each for a very specific work. Some souls He created with the strength, grace, and nature to go out into the midst of the world and be able to shine a light, others, He created to remove form the world and be a support from afar.

    We tend to be more the type to remove from the world somewhat, but, we also pray a lot as a family for others, and we do strive when we go out to be a light. We are called to be parents, so we cannot live life clositered, but, we do feel there is need to be removed some for the protection of young children in our day and age, and yes, even for us adults. There is a time for removal for the protection of soul, and a time for speaking the Truth boldly, or shining the Light through how you live, I think. Your site actually helped us in this way. That small phrase “be a sign of hope to others” has changed us greatly. I used to be so bothered by the sins of our world that I would not be friendly to other I would encounter, and often even negative. After coming across your site, and message, it changed this profoundly, we came to see that we need to be cheerful and positively interact towards those we encounter in the world, to shine a light, and to show that the way we choose to live is good and positive. To be a sign of hope. 🙂

    We as a family are not called to be the evangelizing type, being out there all the time evangelizing to others, but there are ways that even a family/person like us can share the Truth with the world. Just by living our life as Catholics, a large family that is happy and enjoy each other, having positive responses ready when asked why we do what we do(have a bunch of kids, homeschool, wear skirts, etc.), being unafraid to pray in public, being kind to all we encounter, etc, etc, etc, we can do the little we are called to do in evangelizing. We also can be a support to those who are called to be out on the front lines. Even the military has it’s men who are called to active fighting on the front lines, and those who are in the wings giving support, but just as important, valuable, and necessary to the end result of the battle. 🙂 I often find myself praying for others that may be more active in the world, to try to be the support they need in the background. Sometimes during communion at Sunday Mass, I find myself praying for reach person as they receive Communion or go past me. One small thing that can be a support to others around us.

    There are for sure those who are called to be bold in the work of God, and this article is a great rallying cry for them. But, I had to say this all, as there ARE truly some who are called to withdrawal from the world, and who serve a valuable purpose if they are truly doing what God would have them do and are following His will. Withdrawal from the world is okay if you are called to it, but, if that is God’s calling then one needs to be actively serving in spiritual ways, through prayer, sacrifice, raising up the ones entrusted to you to shine a light, and *when you are* out and about being unafraid to be the candle shining in the darkness, and to joyfully evangelize if the opportunity arises.

    Praying all here have a most blessed and joyous Christmas. I can’t comment like John does, but still you all are in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

    God Bless,
    Sarah

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for writing this, Sarah. I knew after I had written that I should have mentioned that when I speak of these things, I do NOT speak of those who are called to a cloistered vocation. St. Therese of Lisieux is one of my great patrons. We should all seek and follow our own vocation and then live it well. Writing publicly, one speaks to the general case, the ordinary. That is usually okay, but sometimes a specific point that is generally good for most can seem to reject an important and holy type of vocational call – if the writer is too clumsy to remember to make the proper note. Good thing that here, when I get a little clumsy, I have a great group of people who will cover what I missed. Those who live, by vocation, the cloistered life are a great asset to the spiritual life of all of us…and the whole world.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was not only referring to those who have a cloistered religious vocation, but also those who are called by God to live a more removed life, and do more quiet work for Him. Not all are called to evangelizing boldly or more public work. Some who do much work for God, and for souls, do so silently, and in the background. 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Got it! I just clarified, as I was hurried, and it wasn’t clear to me that you meant all who are called to a more removed life. 🙂 Sorry I missed that! Not everyone who is called to a more active or public life understands the need for, and benefit of, the life of those who are called to work in the background. Being misunderstood and/or criticized for following what God has called you to can be hard, as you WELL know, huh?

            My Mom is one who is called to this type of life, and one of my brothers was telling her recently that that’s not right, we all are meant to evangelize and go out to the world and be a light to the world, etc. She had to explain to him that not all are called to the same thing, just as we all are created with different personalities, likes and dislikes, vocations, etc., we are all also made for a different kind of work for the Lord and our world. She was telling him how each one is called to something different, and each one is good in their own way, and very necessary to our world and the work of God. With our daughter considering a religious vocation, too, we’ve been doing a lot of reading on cloisters and other religious, and have encountered how some people don’t understand the good of, and need for, religious and the life they live. We’ve also encountered this in real life with non-Catholics, and even with some Catholics.

            “We should all seek and follow our own vocation and then live it well. ” Amen! That’s perfect!

            God bless you and yours this Advent and Christmas, Charlie!

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Years ago, Sarah, one of my Priests was really pressuring me, arguing that I did not do enough overt evangelization, that I should press harder to encourage people to become Catholic. I stubbornly insisted that that was not my way. Only once in my life have I ever pressed anyone on the subject – and it was a mistake. My way was always to recognize and acknowledge the good in those I met, make no secret of how I feel, but discuss it cheerily and both encourage and delight in the good they do. The disagreement went on for some time, until by a weird circumstance that Priest came into contact with a bunch of people who, in talking with him, credited me for playing a big role in their conversion. Next time we spoke, he told me he still thought it was right for most people to do it the way he said, but that in my case I should just keep doing whatever it was I was doing.

              Liked by 2 people

  22. I never thought the words “lead us not into temptation” implicitly or explicitly meant it is the Lord who causes us to be tempted. The original Greek uses the word ‘lead”. It is an idiomatic phrase. The first person who I’ve found who changed these words was Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism who didn’t believe Jesus was coeternal with the Father.

    What we do know is that God allows us to be tempted. God gave satan permission to tempt Job. Then there’s the troubling passage from Matthew 4:1 — “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Yet this verse seems to be contradicted by James 1:13-14:

    “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Notice in this verse, James does not mention being tempted by the devil.

    Jesus, however does mention being tempted by the devil, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32-32). Jesus knows Peter will be tempted, but He prays that Peter’s faith will remain strong. Peter does fail but Jesus also know that he will repent. I believe that Jesus’ prayer for Peter is an example of the Lord “lead[ing] us not into temptation.”

    The bottom line for me is that I never took the words “lead us not into temptation” to imply that the Lord causes us to be tempted. We are tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil. I will continue to pray the Our Father (a reveled prayer) as I always have.

    Finally, meaning no disrespect to Pope Francis, but he has much, much bigger fish to fry than worrying about a verse in the Lord’s prayer. The problems the Church faces are systemic, universal and spiritual. The Church as a huge “God” problem. It transcends theological or dogmatic disputes. Too many simple do not believe in the transcendent. My personal response to this is more prayer, fasting (hope I didn’t blow it by mentioning it like a Pharisee) and bolder evangelization. The rest is in God’s hands — His Son will be victorious. I may not live to see it but hopefully my grandchildren do.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Frank, my friend, I try to keep the good things I do that are not necessary for people to know to myself – as I fully believe that they become a fragrant offering to God when so done, and I don’t want to rob them of their value. But I have been instructed that to fail to mention such a thing when it can be critical to heartening someone is a form of miserliness that displeases Our Lord. So the struggle here is neither to be boastful by speaking of things that are not necessary to help another nor to be miserly in withholding what can give new heart and hope to another. Tricky business…and we will surely make some mistakes along the way (ah, vanity!) But I believe you did well in avoiding miserliness here. Thank you for this lovely comment.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Regarding translations and Prayer the ‘Our Father’ I had heard the correct translation of the last words were used incorrectly… “deliver us from evil” to “…from the evil one.”

      I used it a few times in mass but had this nagging feeling, I should approach my Pastor which I did. He stated though most likely correct in the translation, “Unity” was crucial. Follow the direction of the Pope.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Thanks so very much for your prayers, Sarah. Thanks, too, for this beautiful reflection. We surely do have differing gifts and calls upon each of our lives. Prayers for you and your family as you “Do whatever He tells you to do.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your prayers, too. They are very appreciated, and I know God must listen to the supplications of one who loves Him so dearly! Have a blessed rest of your Advent and a grace-filled and joyous Christmas, dear Beckita,
      Sarah

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Something that came up today for me was the identity of the anti-church & anti-doctrine.

    Christ never said in his teachings of “not judging” that it’s absolute and overrules the Bible, the 10 Commandments, and all critical/moral thinking. Every instance where Jesus says “don’t judge” it’s always in reference to acts & thoughts of pride, saying to not see ourselves as superior or more just than others (especially those seeking repentance & conversion.)

    This Liberal teaching of “not judging” in the Church to the point ignoring sin is the false doctrine of the anti-church (the smoke of Satan). By teaching sin doesn’t matter, then people assume forgiveness & repentance are not needed. A very dangerous doctrine…

    Liked by 4 people

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